Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session
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Updated 18 November 2020

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

RIYADH: At the International Media Center in Riyadh during the week of the G20 Leaders Summit and before the extraordinary summit that will be held on the 21 and 22 of November, Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri, head of the Women’s Empowerment Team, led a media briefing where she shared with Arab News what her ideal society would look like.

“An ideal society is one that enables women who want to progress in their careers to reach leadership positions, and also provides all women with equal opportunities and equal access to services, even if they are not working” she said.

Al-Tuwaijri mentioned how accommodating women in the workplace was an issue that was discussed and raised during the Saudi presidency of the G20, and that it was directly related to unpaid care work.

She said that the concept that women are the primary caregivers in their families was unhelpful, as “during the pandemic women found themselves doing almost all of the care work and sometimes schoolwork for their children, and yet still having to pursue their careers.

“It’s an issue we’ve been addressing even before the pandemic. And that’s why, for example, on a national level, we have initiatives that support women in that respect … supporting women with childcare subsidies, like the Qurra initiative,” She said. “Allowing women to have access to these services will lead to more participation of women and understanding that this is a necessity for women.”

During a roundtable discussion about “Women’s empowerment as a key enabler for economic recovery,” Chiara Corazza, managing director of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society, said that women need to be able to take on the discussion about climate change, and how to drive finance. “We want to construct this world we are not there to empower women it’s the world that needs us this is the paradigm,” she said.

“The world needs us (women) in climate change, in business, in AI, and health … in all the main issues of daily life.”

She said that this was her message and she insisted on involving women in science “because otherwise, if we don’t have those with the right competence, the right capacities, we won’t be able to be heard.”

Regarding fixing the system, the G20 Women20 Sherpa Salma Al-Rashid mentioned that women already have the skills to fix the system. “It’s for the betterment of everyone in the whole community when women are equal participants,” she said.

Speaking of the priorities that were put forward by the Saudi presidency at the beginning of this year, Al-Tuwaijri mentioned that they were looking at realizing the full potential of the world’s population.

“We had a set of priorities that started with the G20 Brisbane Goal (in 2014). Then closing the gap in labor participation. All of that was a plan, a roadmap for us to guarantee that when we talk about realizing opportunities for all.”

She said that when the pandemic happened during the presidency of Saudi Arabia, it forced them to take certain detours and cling to the previous achievements “just to make sure that we don’t lose them, amidst this pandemic. And that’s why we were very grateful that the G20 Brisbane Goal made major progress so that we know how the pandemic will affect the inclusion of women.”


MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh
Updated 22 January 2021

MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

RIYADH: The homegrown chain MUVI Cinemas opened a pop-up movie theater in Riyadh, which the company claims is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018.
The pop-up can accommodate up to 150 vehicles while maintaining social distancing measures, organizers said. Audience members will be required to wear facemasks and have their temperatures checked in accordance with recommended measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Food and drinks are available to be consumed in visitors’ cars. “MUVI Cinemas is strictly applying all the precautionary measures to ensure a safe environment for our employees and customers,” MUVI’s marketing director, Mahmoud Mirza, told Arab News, adding no decision had yet been made on how long the pop-up would remain open.
According to Mirza, the initial response from the public suggests the drive-in concept will prove as popular in the Kingdom as it has recently in other parts of the Middle East, including Dubai and Beirut, as a way to allow customers to watch movies on the big screen while protecting themselves against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Riyadh resident Arwa Al-Numair told Arab News that she was looking forward to trying out the drive-in for herself, having seen photographs of it on social media.
“It looks so cool. Just like it does in the movies and on TV. It’s so retro, and a great way to safely see movies during the pandemic,” she said. “I’m overly cautious, so I was very worried about visiting a cinema. But being able to see a movie without even having to leave my car makes me feel more comfortable about taking my family out to see a film.”
Ismaeel Al-Assem, another Riyadh resident, recalled his experiences of visiting drive-in cinemas in the Eastern Province in the early 1970s, before the nationwide cinema ban.
“I remember going to the drive-in on weekends with my friends, getting French fries and burgers from one of the stands and having to listen to the audio via a hose-like cable that you could pull into your car. At the time it was the very height of cool,” he said. “It’s exciting to see them being brought back again. I would definitely like to go and see what’s changed, what’s improved, and what feels the same.”
Mirza said that now is the ideal time to attend a drive-in cinema in the Kingdom. “Drive-in cinemas require many aspects to succeed. One important factor is the weather, and with Riyadh’s weather nowadays, it is a perfect fit to complete an outstanding experience,” he explained, adding that MUVI is considering opening similar temporary venues across the Kingdom.
“Having pop-up cinemas isn’t new to MUVI Cinemas,” he continued. “We shall continue offering such experiences to expand our reach and create happy moments for our audience, be it inside our sites and theaters or outside.”
Mirza also revealed that MUVI plans to open 15 new cinemas in Saudi Arabia this year, adding more than 150 screens to its roster. “New sites will be added to those in current cities, and introduced to new cities, such as Taif, Buraidah and Onaizah,” he said.